Three SD&G libraries to close by Labour Day weekend

County councillor and library board chairman Bill McGimpsey glances at his tablet during a county council meeting Monday, June 20, 2016. The county will close three branches by Sept. 3, 2016 in a bid to keep the service running. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SD&G – The county library board has moved to close three branches in SD&G by early September.

According to the library communications department, the final vote was 4-3 to close the Dalkeith, Morewood and St. Andrews West branches by Sept. 3, 2016.

It’s a somewhat accelerated timeline as county council heard in June that the branches would possibly close by December.

“We can’t continue to deliver a mediocre service,” library board chairman Bill McGimpsey told Cornwall Newswatch in June, suggesting the closures would free up $150,000 to be invested elsewhere in the service.

“The decision to make these changes is in response to Council’s directions to offer a more equitable distribution of hours of operation across local municipalities, and limit operations at under-used and/or inappropriate locations,” county library spokesman Susan Wallwork said in a statement.

The Dalkeith location will still have a book return box for alternative service delivery and will offer internet at public computer stations.

But that is hinged on having volunteers to man the internet facilities.

The decision at this morning’s (Friday) library board meeting doesn’t sit well with advocates for the smaller library locations, who claim they were caught off guard by the meeting.

“We are quite annoyed with the lack of notice, and the absence of public consultation (as they promised there would be!),” Save our SDG Library Branches posted on its Facebook page.

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